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  2. So if you didn't think the team could win with that lineup, and I didn't as well, it stands to reason that many others shared that view, including players, coaches and management. Nobody who follows the team closely should have been fooled. We all knew or should have known what was going to happen. I'm not making this argument in hindsight (as you know, I predicted pretty much exactly the outcome five months earlier). The real issue to me is the sudden change of course in March. Why add Oduya? Why demote and bench several of the kids and play the slugs? I'm not a "play the kids" advocate as a general rule. Obviously, no team is going far in the playoffs with a lineup of kids. But this is the direction Bowman committed the team to follow last March. He made the decision to stick with what he had. He decided to write the year off as a learning experience. Quenneville should have stuck with that plan, and screw the consequences. Obviously, the team would not have done any worse. Tootoo is not an NHL player. Rozsival is done, and so is Desjardins. Oduya on his own wasn't going to be enough. There was no justification for playing the old guys in March instead of the prospects.
  3. The Bears definitely added quite a few new pricing tiers to the seating chart this season. They also followed in the footsteps of the Cubs and Hawks in creating a multilevel pricing strategy for regular/premium games. Last year they discounted preseason games for the first time ever, but raised the regular season prices to even it out. This year there are four different pricing levels depending on the game. One for preseason and 3 for the regular season.
  4. I'm not totally sure if it was due to production, but Thornton and Marleau were both asked a few years back, then Wilson re-signs Joe at 8 million. I'm sure almost every time a player is asked to waive their NMC, it's probably about production, cuz if they were leading the league in scoring, they would never be asked!!!
  5. As usual, good post! Do you (or anyone) recall a player being asked to waive a full NMC due to decreased production?
  6. Is this the pricing just for season tickets? Does that mean single game tickets are going to be even higher?
  7. If the Blazing Saddles reference didn't make you at least grin...
  8. Absolutely correct, him. Their top two will combine to make the same cap hits next season as Toews and Kane, who each had three rings when their mega deals kicked in a couple of years ago. Certainly cannot fault GMs for securing foundational players at huge hits but watch out for the trickle down effect. That goes for many teams.
  9. There the thing: Kane is signed through 35. Toews through 36. Saad through 29. Ani through 33. Seabs through 39, Keith through 40, Murph through 29, and Crawford through 36. Only Seabs and Keith, realistically are on their last deal. None except maybe Saad and Murph will likely command a higher deal, but they will command another one. Thought exercise here: Let's say, for the sake of the argument. Toews has plateaued (we all hope he hasn't but humor me). This coming year he's not sparkplugged. He remains a 20/50 player instead of a 30/70 and is indeed on a slow decline. By the end of his deal...how would the fans feel? At what point does "what have you done for me, lately?" kick in? I think irregardless of the NMC deals, how the long-termers do after the past 2 seasons will cloud or affect the perception of them. It could mean the difference between Toews retiring a 'hawk at 36, Toews retiring a 'hawk closer to 40 and passing the torch while maintaing a fan favorite, or basically being not-so-fondly remembered ad a guy who started strong and just fizzled away, and possibly singed elsewhere to complete his career. Now, if he bounces back to 30-70 and back to the form we all know and love--who wouldn't want to sign him on a retirement deal to play out his career? Same could be said of Kane, Saad, Ani, Murph, and even Dr. Craw. Keith and Seabs, no so much., But I do feel that we're in a similar place as we were in 2012; being jobbed in the 1st round twice (the most recent year being the most embarrassing), with the people you expect to carry the squad not doing it. There are questions being asked that the core/coaches need to give answers to on the ice. But I do agree--coaches and to a lesser extent GM's are hired to be fired. If this coming season goes out with a whimper again Q's head is likely on the chopping block with Rocky putting the "cut here" lines on Stan's neck.
  10. Today
  11. Leon is a fantastic player, but him and Mcdavid cant win a cup 2 players. They need a team around them and at the cap hit these guys are taking it will be difficult for the Oilers to ice a solid team.
  12. I was thinking the Preds coming twice in the first six home games would get everybody stoked. Looking for some revenge and the Hawks to be playing 110%. Or is it too soon? Is everyone still traumatized?
  13. We all do.
  14. https://twitter.com/NHLBlackhawks/status/897591400677556224 Pretty cool! Apparently a ton of Reebok jerseys left to clear out!
  15. For anyone local, the Reeboks are now 60% off at the UC store (new and improved - pretty darn cool in the new atrium where the Jordan statue used to be and is again) and the Hawks store in Aurora! Btw - the Oak Brook store closed recently.
  16. Definitely going to miss Hammer. Rock solid stay at home defenseman, absolute workhorse, fearless shot blocker, and a classy individual. Coyotes got a real gem.
  17. LOL! Everyone nailed this post.
  18. And with Panik on the other side the line has got a lofty ceiling. I just hope performance meets expectations!
  19. ^ No, I was not surprised. I was saying all along, "don't count your chickens before they hatch." But the reason I was unsurprised differs from yours. I was unsurprised because the team had been bi-polar all year (with the exception of that one good month long or so stretch at the deadline), with a plethora of ugly wins, and I knew our lack of depth (i.e. reliance on kids) would hurt us in the playoffs. Q played the kids who deserved to play after the deadline, and I just specified, he played them in the playoffs too. He had no choice.Tootoo played 2 games (less than the kids specified in my previous post). Roszival played none. They both did have confidence; that's why no moves were made. It's easy to say in hindsight, but I don't blame them for being misled after that strong stretch -- many, many people were anointing the team as "the real Hawks" at that point.
  20. Some kids played. Others sat on their hands. The coach was fully committed to the youth plan until the trade deadline. Then he switched course. If the coach and general manager had "confidence in the squad as it stood," they should be fired. I don't think they did. I believe both were writing the year off, and the players knew it and responded accordingly. In all honesty, Granada, were you surprised with the outcome? Toews had one productive month the entire year, and it was when Quenneville changed his job description and got him away from the opponent's better players. It is obvious, at least to me, that can't do both jobs any longer. He needs to focus exclusively on scoring. Anisimov could not win a faceoff all year. The penalty kill was a disaster. The team had zero physical push back. Adding a couple of big bodies for the fourth line (ie Boyle) would have made an enormous difference in several respects. It did not happen.
  21. ^ The kids did play in that stretch. Q interspersed Rozi and Tootoo, but also played kids too. The important kids like Schmaltz, Hartman, Kero continued to play. Q also played the kids plenty once playoffs rolled around. Hino, Hayden, Kero, TVR, Schmaltz, and Rass all saw time in the playoffs, and all had at least 3 games played with the exception of Hayden. I know it's the argument-du-jour to claim Q "didn't give the kids a chance," but the entire year last year (and including the playoffs) quashes that argument, considering he really didn't have a choice. I'm not reducing the argument as much as I am directly addressing this specific part of your argument, which is evolving as we speak. If the core "did not think they could beat Nashville," it wasn't because Bowman didn't placate them enough with roster moves at the deadline. The fact he kept the team in tact would serve as direct evidence to them that he and the coaches had confidence in the squad as it stood at the time; so how that would lead to the team "losing" confidence is utterly beyond me. If anything caused the Hawks to lose confidence, it was the Nashville Predators themselves as the series progressed; not Bowman.
  22. In the end, what we are really discussing is not why the Hawks lost, but how they did it. We all know (or should know) that the team last year was highly flawed. A team can't win without four legitimate lines. We are angry because they did not put up more of a fight. I am willing to give them a pass, given the three cups. In the end, who really cares that they didn't win a game or two to stretch out that series? What real difference does it make? When the team lost to Vancouver in seven (in 2011) the result was the same. That year, the boys left everything on the ice. This past year, they obviously did not. So what. Panarin - perhaps the worst offender - is now gone. I am furious that Hjalmarsson was also sent packing. He deserved better.
  23. Couple of signings today. Matt Cullen back to Minny -- 1yr, $1M plus PB up to $700K more. And Leon Draisaitl stays an Oiler for 8 years at $8.5M/. BTW, Draisaitl as a 13 year old playing in the Germany U16 division averaged 4 ppg. The next year he upped his scoring to over 6 ppg in both the regular season and playoffs. Yikes!
  24. Granada - You're reducing the argument here. I believe the players did not think they could beat Nashville given the roster provided for them. Without the confidence (or swagger or whatever you want to call it), they lost their edge. I did not think they had a chance in the playoffs given the "quality" of the fourth line especially. It was no surprise to me what happened. I started a thread about it last January. When the team had the division and conference locked, would it not have made more sense to use this time to play the kids more? Why not give the future players the experience? The only reason for the coach to turn to Roszival, Tootoo and Desjardins at this stage was because he felt more confident using them in the playoffs than the young players. Hinostroza, Motte and Forsling were in Rockford. Kempny was on the bench along with Jurco. Bowman said he wanted to see the kids play. Do you think he was happy to see Quenneville turn his back on this plan?
  25. You bet, LordKOTL! The difference is Quenneville can be shown the door at any time like three recent Cup winners have. The core, besides Saad, have their NMC.
  26. And the show goes on...
  27. Hard to argue with all the success Quenneville has had in his storied coaching career. Sometimes his lineups are questionable and occasionally he has the wrong matchup at critical moments. But more often than not, Q has helped put the Hawks in position to do well.
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